Iberia Airbus Slides Off Runway At Quito

EC-JOH slid off the runway at Quito - by airliners.net 

On  Friday, 09NOV2007, an Iberia operated Airbus A340-600 has slid off the runway in Ecuador at the Quito Airport and caused the airport to be shut down for two days. Arriving from Madird, at 17:06 immediately after touching down the aircraft overran the runway and came to a still in the soft terrain, where it is still standing after two days. According to the Aviation Safety Network’s preliminary report: “The A340 suffered one or more tyre bursts on landing at Quito (UIO). The aircraft overran the runway and came to rest tilting to the left with nr.1 and 2 engines touching the ground.” Such accidents happen every once in a while, but we have seen that they can turn out much worse as in Sao Paolo a few months ago for example.

Fortunately nobody was hurt, all 349 passengers and crew escaped woundless. When I saw the pictures, my first thought was that just in less than a year I have flown the same type of aircraft with Iberia, and when looking at the name just on the side of the cockpit, I realized that it was this same aircraft that took me back from Lima, Peru to Madrid last December… It is a very strange feeling to know that the plane which I once flew in my life and is registered as EC-JOH and named “Miguel de Unamuno” has been involved in such an incident…

At the moment there are only indications as per what really caused the accident, some comments on the internet praise the pilots that they managed to save such a situation without anybody getting hurt, while others blame them for the accident. Only investigations will tell, but I feel sorry for this beautiful bird to damage one wing, three of the Rolls-Royce engines plus basically most of the landing gears including the nose. It will be a big management and technical task to repair it on site by Iberia as I’m afraid Quito lacks the necessary infrastructure for such a repair. The terminal is also operating under some restrictions since the ILS antennas were destroyed and replacement will take 15 days (ILS – Instrument Landing System).

This picture from a different angle shows just how close to residential areas were to this accident…

Iberia EC-JOH in Quito - by Reuters

A slideshow with more onsite pictures on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqfQAm-iyJI

by balint01

10 Responses to “Iberia Airbus Slides Off Runway At Quito”

  1. 1 Attila November 13, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Wow…this is too bad…

  2. 2 thejok88 November 16, 2007 at 7:41 am

    This same airplane lost 8 tires about 2 months ago in Quito. A 727 from SurAmatican lost 4 tires about a month later and I on a DC-10 lost 1 tire the day after the SurAmerican. They should be looking into some thing on that runway.

  3. 3 balint01 November 16, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I hope the findings of the investigation will be published and we’ll find out what actually happened and what was first: tire-burst or sliding off the runway. Based on your comment probably the tire burst(s) has lead to losing control of the aircraft, which tnen slid off the runway. If this “theory” proves right, it would be the second runway in South-America this year that is recognized as problematic following Sao Paolo’s Congohas.

  4. 4 aitors February 22, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Lucky scape!
    Looking at the actual landing images at youtube the runway was covered in water, difficult to say but touch down was far down the runway and curiously enough the firefighters knew the plane was going to crash seconds before according to their reactions: did they hear the tyres blowing off? could they see that the plane was too fast and too far down the runway?
    This accident reminds me of airfrance in canada and the brazilian one at Sao Paulo: too wet, too fast comming down and perhaps tyre blowout.
    But let’s celebrate that no one got hurt.

  5. 5 roger ramjet October 10, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Happens to me all the time

  6. 6 justus May 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    at 2800 meters above sea level, air is lighter and it becomes more difficult to stop (or pick up speed).
    Most pilots are not used to these different conditions, therefore the accidents.

    • 7 Major "King" Kong May 8, 2009 at 6:46 pm

      Technically the reason for the landing problems (as a former USAF pilot) is the old physics equation F=MA. The F is force, the M is mass and the A portion of this is acceleration. When you land at higher altitudes, the airspeed is what the plane flies on but the true airspeed is the velocity relative to the airmass. As a result, your ground speed can be substantially higher than the indicated airspeed (IAS). In my old aircraft (a heavy) the tech-orders said a 5% change in landing speed meant a 15% breaking energy effect on a heavy weight aircraft.

      I’ve heard many stories about Quito and some other high altitude runways in South America. The problem is almost always (with all due respect to these pilots) a pilot skill problem. You have to put the plane down on speed, on brick one, (with a little firmness if rain exists) in order to get it stopped in these conditions. It’s tough to do and keep the passengers flying with you 🙂 If as was reported earlier, there’s a surface condition problem, then things are even worse.

    • 8 Shannon May 28, 2009 at 2:47 pm

      Thats NO excuse.Pilots of this level are trained for any and all conditions.Something else must have caused it and sinch tyres blew-out – it was either too high a touchdown speed of FOB on the runway.

  7. 9 Mark Miles September 21, 2009 at 5:22 am

    This was caused by Airbus’s love of the joystick. A aircraft controled by a yoke would not have crashed.

  1. 1 Etihad Airbus Crashes Into Wall While Engine Testing « Airline world Trackback on November 16, 2007 at 6:47 am

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